Know Your Bible

VOL. 8                           November 29, 2009                           NO. 47

Attitudes Toward The Local Church

    People who suffer with a disagreeable and cynical attitude generally take that disposition with them wherever they go. Some bring it to the church building!

    Have you noticed, some folks who visit an assembly of a local church for the first time, seem to walk in the door whining? They didn’t have good directions and the building was hard to find. They want to know why the building is half empty and there are no kids the same age as their kids. The song leader isn’t very good. The preacher is not as exciting as they prefer and, of course, the people were not friendly.

    All of this grumbling comes before they get to know the people. These troublesome judgments seem to come forth about the time they walk in the door, and before they have taken the time to become acquainted with the work their brothers and sisters are attempting to do.

    This is more than just annoying. This kind of behavior is immature, offers no good will or encouragement to the local disciples, teaches children to be complainers and breeds a spirit of self-absorption, complacency and self-righteousness.
There is a better attitude!


    This better attitude begins with humility. Do not assume that you know so much about a group of people, after you’ve “known them” for a total of 30 minutes! There may be all sorts of facts, circumstances, history and unseen conditions you know nothing about. Instead of thinking primarily of your comfort, your preferences and your needs - “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others,” (Phil. 2:4).

    The better attitude is based on a conscious, individual decision to “do all things without murmuring and disputing,” (Phil. 2:14). In the first place, the spirit that constantly complains and grumbles is not pleasing to the Lord.  In the second place, if there are real problems, they are not solved by this irksome behavior.

    The better attitude rejoices in truth (1 Cor. 13:6). What is good and right should be commended. John expressed this attitude when he wrote, “I rejoiced greatly that I found some of your children walking in truth, as we have received commandment from the Father,” (2 Jn. 4).

    The better attitude is cautious to avoid partiality. Some of our quick judgments reflect personal prejudice or favoritism. What James deals with in James two (Jas. 2:1-13) concerns one who “comes into your assembly,” and the prejudicial attitudes toward the poor man. The principle taught in the text would also apply when one who comes in is guilty of the same attitude. “Have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (Jas. 2:4). That question is probing for anyone showing partiality anywhere!

    The better attitude says: “I’m here to participate, to help and to encourage everybody who is involved in the work of the Lord!” The better attitude is not blind to problems, but seeks to participate in a solution to problems in a godly way. The better attitude does not demand perfection, but will share in scriptural efforts to move in that direction.

---Warren E. BerkIey

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How Do Children Learn The Bible?
    One of the most marvelous passages of Scripture on child­rearing is given in Deuteronomy 6:3-9. From this great passage we are made to understand that children can learn God’s word in a number of ways.
    There is what we might call unconscious teaching. Children observe our lives, our moods, our reactions, our dispositions. They absorb and assimilate these into their own lives and personalities. Someone has said that children read our hearts, not our lips.
    There is, in the second place, what we might call informal teaching. This is done by talking about holy things as we sit, walk, lie down, and rise up. The Jews wrote the Scriptures on signs and plaques and put them on their walls and at other conspicuous places. Some even had them embroidered on their clothing. These were all subtle and informal reminders of their need to be God-conscious.
    Then, last of all, there were those formal teaching situations where prophets or priests or others, instructed by means of the various services, performed in the tabernacle, temple, and later the synagogues. Certain days had a special meaning. All males were to attend the three annual feasts. All of these activities and situations working together impressed upon the observing mind the need to be controlled and regulated by Jehovah.
    Today, many of the same kinds of situations are presented to us. Let us learn to talk about the Bible with our children with the same ease with which we discuss sports activities and other such things. Let us keep the Word of God before them all the time. Let us resolve to never miss a preaching service or Bible class. Let us show them practical ways to put eyes, arms, and legs on God’s commandments as we get caught up in helping others. Let us let God truly rule in our hearts and lives. The children are smart -- they will catch on.

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"Ain't It Funny”
* How we set our clocks to arise at 5:00 A.M. to be at the job by 7:30; yet, when Sunday comes we can't get to the church building for the 10:00 A.M. Bible study to learn more about the one who gave us our jobs.
* How we call God our Father and Jesus our brother; but find it hard to introduce them to our family and friends.
* How small our sins seem; but how big "their" sins are.
* How we demand justice for others; but expect mercy from God.
* How much difficulty some have learning the gospel well enough to tell others; but how simple it is to understand and explain the latest gossip about someone else.
* How we can't think of anything to say when we pray; but don't have any difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a human friend.
* How we are so quick to take directions from a total stranger when we are lost; but are hesitant to take God's direction for our lives.


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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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